Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NY joins the crowd

Each picture carries its own story -- and there were many stories of yesterday!
All of the teams from all of the states were combined and divided into teams from that main group. One team stayed here at the volunteer camp and helped Monty inside the church building, outside in the warehouse, took down the old shower tent and unloaded trailers into the warehouse. They were all a bit more than tired last night!
Another team went to Mirvena's home. She lives in an area where there is water on both sides and her home had 13' of water inside --- yes --- 13 feet! You can see from the photos, her truck that was parked underneath the already raised home is now gone, everything covered quite deep with mud and who knows what. All her furniture and belongings were still inside the home and are now trash. The piles continue to grow and the city continues picking up. I have to admit that in the 3 years we have been doing this I think her home is the worst I've seen! The team dug, put on masks and gloves and did the job. They will be returning again today to finish the job! They told us that Mirvena came to the house and couldn't find the words to thank them enough. Whether or not her home can even be rebuilt remains to be seen.
The other part of the team went to William's home. William met us there and told how he has lived there for 25 years and had done all the work inside by himself. He was pleased that his vinyl tile flooring had made it that long. It did not make it through Ike. He was able to salvage his piano and some chairs. Most everything else also went to the curb and was trash. He worked with the team all day and will be there again this morning when they return to also finish the job. The team was going to make a pit stop prior to returning to his house to cut down a tree "situation" for another homeowner, something a person could do more than full time -- still -- after 2 months!
By dinner time the New York team had arrived. There are 15 of them and none of them have done this type of work before so today will be a true life-changing event for all of them! They were a bit nervous at orientation this morning but will be fine once they arrive on the scene. A couple of them are here at the church this morning installing a couple more cabinets in the kitchen and an overhead fan for the oven. They will join the rest of their team at lunch.
Speaking of lunch -- Diane and I are cooking hotdogs and taking them to the teams. We plan on setting up a station along the water where they can all come and sit down for a couple of minutes and enjoy the wonderful sunshine and warm temps. Years ago Galveston built a "sea wall" that is literally a concrete wall along the water that was meant to protect the city. It did the job and even with Ike it helped spare some of them. All along the wall there are places to park, a place to walk for miles and even some places where concrete benches are placed for some to sit and view the ships coming in and out of the area. Sometimes you just have to make the volunteers stop and take a few minutes to see the nice things in the area.
This evening there will be a special worship service/orientation for the teams and is open to the entire church congregation. We plan on showing slides of all the work done this past week and hope it will be a pleasant surprise for the teams to see themselves in action. Be sure and stay tuned for the results.
Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

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